Handmade in Florida: Wax Sampler

20171105_134528This is the wax preorder that led me to break my July shopping ban. I’d heard tantalizing word-of-mouth from Julie at The Redolent Mermaid but when I checked out the shop a few times, it seemed Handmade in Florida was infrequently open. Widely known for creating beautiful signature soap, and although I’m becoming a frequent user of handmade soaps, it was the wax I yearned to try. When I saw the preorder sampler announcement on the ‘gram, it didn’t take much convincing to suspend the shopping ban. Further checking revealed a choice of categories were available for customer selection, including earthy, bakery, fruity, etc., and all my remaining resolve was gone. My Earthy ‘surprise-me’ sampler included 10 scents and 2 samples, approx. 25 oz. of wax for $30, plus $7 shipping. 

From the packaging to the wax decoration, this has been the most elegantly designed wax I’ve received yet. I sincerely appreciate the inclusion of scent notes, pour dates and weight. Also loving the distinct styles offered from shapes to cups. 20171029_113345Cosmic Caramel-a medley of sweet and spice starring warm caramel and clove. An unpretentious combination that was simply delicious. Note, I don’t say that lightly. It is a rarity for me to recommend any caramel scent, usually finding them too sweet. In fact, I questioned the inclusion of caramel in an earthy sampler, wondering if a bakery melt accidentally slipped in. Happily, Cosmic Caramel was included and is a favorite.20171029_114121Warm golden glaze, thickly scented with butter and toffee. I could actually smell the sugar crystals caramelizing as if melting and sputtering on the stovetop in front of me. By no means cloying, nor overly spicy, the clove appears as a smattering of buds dropped into the simmering caramel adding small bursts of aromatic depth. Strong, long-lasting throw, however I did use the entire 1.5 oz melt cup.

Coconut Curry-an enticing blend of freshly picked curry leaf, warm ginger, lime, vanilla, creamy coconut milk. A fan of curry and spiced foods, but not always of it’s appearance in fragrance. (I loathe some curry spices found in Yankee’s ginger scents) This is a savory version but natural, not reminiscent of eating take-out food. Brittle, pungent curry leaves bloom in velvety coconut cream, well-balanced between the two top notes, punched up by the zesty hit of lime. Whopping throw on cold, will update after melting.20171029_120935Meditate-warm notes of incense, amber and sweet vanilla. These notes embody a divine trinity of my favorite scents. Pearls of vanilla form a glossy bed of fragrance cloaked in dusky sweet smoke, crowned by delicate golden amber. A mellow dream of a scent prevails. 

Pretty Patch-a blend of sweet vanilla, dark-aged patchouli, amber and musk. Excited for this on cold, unfortunately it didn’t work for me. This patchouli appears more harshly than in the others (is dark-aged much different?) It melts very floral heavy with a touch of oiliness to it. Deeply layered, I wish the sweetness of the vanilla and fresh musk would outshine the sharp flowery patch. Half a cup threw medium strength.  

Sensual Suede-warm blend of soft suede, vanilla, sandalwood. I’m grateful this earthy sampler doesn’t contain a lot of cologne types. Not even sure how the connection between ‘earthy’ and cologne came to be, never have I walked through the woods and run into a cloud of unisex fragrance. The suede exhibits a floral character, but isn’t perfumey either, perhaps light iris and dulcet green tones. A soft and tender nuanced feel, similar to donning a cashmere cardigan on a cool cloudy day. As with all of these blends, I only wish the sandalwood was more prominent.20171029_110630Ritual Lavender-lavender, sage, rosemary and woodsy smoke billowing from the sacred ritual of smudging. In the words of a friend, this lavender curls the toes and makes the eyes roll back in the head. That may be dramatic, but it is incredibly different from any other lavenders I’ve had. Not too woody; powerful, yet grassy and herbal with a confident blend of sage and rosemary, truly spicy herbs, leaning slightly peppery and cinnamon dusted. Ritual Lavender elicits feelings of majestic forests, endless Autumn days and woodland ceremonies surrounded by smoke and mystery. In contention for my favorite melt this fall, and one of this year’s best, but will reserve that judgement for after melting, if I can bring myself to use the one and only cup. 

These intricately designed wax medallions weigh 3.2 ounces and are nearly too pretty to slice. Upon seeing a photo I posted, an online friend commented they remind one of beautiful vintage pendants, and pondered how incredible-smelling they’d be adorning the neck. I must agree. 20171029_112450French Vanilla & Oak-sensuous blend of oak, sandalwood, benzoin, French vanilla. Zahida, the wax queen (as she will now be known), must have read my mind with this scent. Any time a brand holds a scent contest, I include those in the mix. I find the notes comforting but unique, this blend exactly. The balsamic benzoin resin adds an exotic touch complimenting the creamy French vanilla. A freshness found in expensive body care lends a clean aspect, grounded by the bitter woodiness of oak. Light-moderate throw. 

Tea for Two-green tea, bergamot, patchouli, amber, vanilla, jasmine, musk and smooth woods. There’s no cake to this unexpected tea blend. Cool as a glass of iced tea brewed from an earthy loose leaf mix. Bergamot imparts a light citrus note, not as overwhelming as lemon, but containing that characteristic sharp green tea edge. The tannins just rounded out by the soft vanilla and honeyed amber. I like this scent, I’d probably drink it as a tea, too.

Third Eye-exotic blend of incense, teakwood, sandalwood, patchouli, and cardamom. I haven’t enjoyed powdered scents as much lately, however this is an exception. Light, feathery powder tickles the nose, while herbal patchouli and peppery cardamom spice uplift the mood, and heavenly teak and sandalwood relax my whole being. A perfectly pleasant incense blend. Medium throw. 20171105_115603Enchanted Woodssultry blend of dark-aged patchouli, musk, sandalwood, myrrh. This scent sounds incredible but sniffing the package clued me in that it wouldn’t offer much aroma. The only disappointment in the bunch. I did get something upon melting two cubes, but it reminded me of the scent of my vinyl baby dolls from childhood, so not horrible, but not what I want in a woodsy melt. I removed it from the strong plastic clamshell and placed in a bag to cure awhile. Will update if it improves.  UPDATE: six months cure and no plastic equaled better throw, but the vinyl note lingers. I found it too perfumed for me.

Samples: Two full cups bedecked in Halloween trimmings. I adore these.20171105_102449Sweet Serenity-a touch of confectioner’s sugar, blended with lavender, eucalyptus, mint essential oils. Mint essential oil? Sign me up! Cool, frosty spearmint refreshes as the powdered sugar is infused with abundant herbs, producing a concentrated sugar rim to the spirited combination.20171105_102936Pistachio Cake-a fragrant cake scented with rosewater, pistachio, cardamom, and freshly whipped cake. Pistachio can be a love it/hate it scent I think, but it’s a take it or leave it to me. I would take this wax cake version three tiers tall if possible. Moist and fluffy pastry covered in sugar-coated fondant, dressed in rose petals and dusted richly with cardamom. If pretty had a scent, this would be it.

No regrets over my broken shopping ban, I’d say this preorder was worth the wait and every penny. Looking forward to Handmade in Florida’s next opening.20171022_121035

8 thoughts on “Handmade in Florida: Wax Sampler

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  1. Ha, what, you’ve never been out on a hike or a stroll through the woods and encountered that fabled Manly Mountain Musk scent? Because I was given to understand that all men smell like, I dunno, glaciers or something. How is this not true?!

    This sounds like the perfect box of scents for you, so much earthy and real, not a sprinkled cupcake in the bunch! I love the little lidded cups on these guys, and the design work is so pretty – elegant and simple. That little green pistachio one with the rose is particularly lovely (pistachio’s a weird one with me, too – why all the cherry?) and the mica’d shapes are so nice. I love a vendor that takes as much care with the outside as with the inside. Had so many problems with my orders lately performance and looks-wise – I’d be delighted to receive such a gorgeous package at this stage of the game!

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    1. Haven’t crossed paths with the fabled Mountain Man yet, but I’m not convinced that’s what he would smell like.

      The cups are super nice. An extra pleasant surprise because I didn’t know how everything would be packed, but it is superior quality. I’m happy with 10/12 scents which is pretty good %. The pistachio is one of the best, I cannot stop sniffing it, I hope it makes a return when the shop reopens at some point. The vendors who take great care/ exhibit creativity deserve the business for sure.

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    1. These are definitely up your street, I’ll alert you if I see Zahida is opening for wax again, don’t know when that might be. I’ve set some Tea for Two aside for you, you’d love it:))

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